HRM work leads to higher profits

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article A two-year research project by King’s College, London, has found thatbusinesses which show a high commitment to human resources management (HRM)benefit from increased productivity and profitability. The project also discovered that effective HRM brings high staffsatisfaction levels and well-being. More than 600 senior HR managers and 460CEOs were interviewed from a range of companies with more than 50 employees forthe Future of Work Pro- gramme, which was sponsored by the Economic and SocialResearch Council and the CIPD. David Guest, professor of organisational psychology and human resourcesmanagement at Kings College, claims the findings show that the number of HRMpractices adopted by companies in 1999 is linked to their financial performancein the same year. Prof Guest said, “Most UK employers are still not doing HRM properly.The best way to improve productivity is to encourage more companies to do moreHRM. “HR departments are seen by CEOs to be doing traditional things.” HRM work leads to higher profitsOn 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Read more →

Ottawa Senators player is first known coronavirus case in the NHL

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPhoto by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(OTTAWA) — The Ottawa Senators announced on Tuesday that one of their players has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, marking the first known case in the NHL.The team did not identify the player, but said he is showing symptoms and is in isolation. “The Ottawa Senators are in the process of notifying anyone who has had known close contact with the athlete and are working with our team doctors and public health officials,” the team said in a statement. “As a result of this positive case, all members of the Ottawa Senators are requested to remain isolated, to monitor their health and seek advice from our team medical staff.”The NHL paused its season last week, as did most other American sports leagues. It initially told players to remain in their home playing cities, but has since sent a memo to players allowing them to travel anywhere, including overseas, to their home countries. Players are advised to self-quarantine when they got there.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Beau Lund Written bycenter_img March 18, 2020 /Sports News – National Ottawa Senators player is first known coronavirus case in the NHLlast_img read more

Read more →

In Short

first_imgKrispy Kreme growthDoughnut firm Krispy Kreme is continuing its plan to double UK store numbers in the next five years from its total of 42, with three new outlets announced. A kiosk opened at the Liverpool ONE Shopping Centre on 15 April; Cardiff’s St David’s shopping centre saw the addition of one of its coffee bar units on 19 April; and it will open a ’hotlight’ store at Centre 27 Retail Park in Leeds, in July.Gluten-free successGluten-free bakery brand Mrs Crimble’s has unveiled more listings in major retailers. Its Jam Coconut Rings, Dutch Apple Cakes and Original Cheese Crackers are now in 500 Co-op stores. All Asda stores will sell its Mini Choc Orange Macaroons, and Sundried Tomato Cheese Crackers, while its Original Cheese Crackers will be stocked in more Tesco stores.Brace’s on profit listBrace’s came 57th on this year’s Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100, which ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits, after seeing profits rise by 57% a year from £1.1m in 2006 to £4.1m in 2009.Record price dropA record 2.6% drop in the price of bread and cereals contributed to the overall decrease in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks, seen in the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.last_img read more

Read more →

United Biscuits encourages jobless youngsters

first_imgEmployees at United Biscuit’s (UB) KP Teesside factory have helped unemployed young people with advice on career opportunities in food manufacturing.KP Teesside’s factory manager Mark Duffy and three employees spoke to individuals taking part in The Prince’s Trust’s team programme at Stockton Riverside College. The youth charity’s 12-week personal development course helps young people develop the skills and confidence to find work.Duffy, who talked to students about UB’s products, production processes and different types of jobs available in the factory, said: “At a time when youth unemployment is running at over one million, it is more important than ever that we look to help and assist young people as they look to progress into the world. Many are unaware of what opportunities there are and indeed what to expect in a work environment. ”In many ways, it is about building people’s confidence, but also getting them to understand that there are no easy rides these days and they have to work at it if they want to get on. We are looking to assist them on their first step up the ladder.”The group also heard first-hand accounts from employees about experiences of working in a snacks factory, with members of KP Teesside’s HR team and managers from within the business, helping individuals with job applications. UB offered mock interview sessions for factory job roles, in addition to advice on job-hunting, application form writing and CV preparation.  Youth charity The Prince’s Trust works with 13- to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. It offers practical and financial support, while developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation.last_img read more

Read more →

James Martin to open Manchester food-to-go bakery

first_imgTV chef James Martin is set to bring food-to-go bakery concept James Martin Kitchen to Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.This will be the second outlet to bear the name, with Martin opening a bakery at London’s Stansted Airport last year.He said the decision to open a second bakery site was prompted by a lack of a ‘decent’ soups and sandwiches when he travels around Britain.“I’ve decided to open a place of my own called James Martin Kitchen serving up proper British food,” Martin wrote on his website.“Every ingredient used in our food is sourced as fresh and locally as possible – that includes our bread, butter, cheese, salmon, chicken, pork and, of course, our cakes.”An opening date for the new Manchester Piccadilly bakery is yet to be confirmed.last_img

Read more →

Pret calls back employees to reopen further 20 shops

first_imgPret is reopening another 20 of its sites for takeaways and delivery.The business has already reopened 10 stores in London, staffed by volunteers from its workforce.From tomorrow (1 May), Pret will open the doors of another 20 sites in the capital, which will be staffed by workers previously employed at those sites.The cafés will offer a limited menu, including some of Pret’s most popular sandwiches and baguettes, as well as baked goods. The shops will also be selling a selection of essential items such as milk, butter and coffee.Members have undergone a thorough interview to ensure they are fit to return to work, said the company. Those living with anyone vulnerable will not be permitted to return.“We will reopen a further 20 shops in London for takeaway and delivery across all major platforms, helping more people get access to freshly made food,” said Pano Christou, CEO of Pret.“These Pret shops look and feel a little different, thanks to the new safety and social distancing measures we’ve put in place, and I believe we’ve found a way to operate that reflects the government’s guidance and looks after our teams and customers.”The business will be adhering to the government guidelines for social distancing in the workplace:Designated pick-up points for delivery drivers, with separate doors used for deliveries and customers wherever possible.One person in the kitchen will be nominated as a ‘kitchen runner’ who will get the products needed for each team member doing food preparation, to minimise the amount of movement in the kitchen.There will be limited benches, which have been spaced apart.Restrictions to allow only one person in certain areas of the kitchen at any one time – for example, fridges or staff rooms.Enhanced cleaning processes, including 30-minute sanitising of all hand-contact surfaces.Protective Perspex screens will be fitted to the till counter.Team members and baristas will be distanced behind the till counter.Only card payments will be allowed, no cash will be accepted.Customer flow into the shop will be restricted, with no more than six customers at any one time.Customers will queue outside the shop at two metres apart from each other, with clear markings for queuing.“I’m also pleased to say that we are extending our 50% discount for NHS workers until 15 May and, of course, will be ensuring our unsold food goes to even more of our charity partners. We’ll keep on learning from these shops as we look to reopen more over the coming weeks,” Christou added.Shops will be open daily from 8am-2pm and deliveries are available through Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats.last_img read more

Read more →

The 1,000-robot swarm

first_imgThe first 1,000-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.“Form a sea-star shape,” directs a computer scientist, sending the command to 1,024 little ’bots simultaneously via an infrared light. The robots begin to blink at one another, and then gradually arrange themselves into a five-pointed star. “Now form the letter K.”The “K” stands for Kilobots, the name given to these extremely simple robots, each just a few centimeters across, standing on three pinlike legs. Instead of one highly complex robot, a “kilo” of robots collaborate, providing a simple platform for the enactment of complex behaviors.Just as trillions of individual cells can assemble into an intelligent organism, or 1,000 starlings can form a great flowing murmuration across the sky, the Kilobots demonstrate how complexity can arise from very simple behaviors performed en masse. To computer scientists, they also represent a significant milestone in the development of collective artificial intelligence (AI).The Kilobots, a swarm of one thousand simple but collaborative robots. Credit: Harvard SEASThis self-organizing swarm was created in the lab of Radhika Nagpal, the Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. The advance is described in the August 15 issue of Science.“The beauty of biological systems is that they are elegantly simple — and yet, in large numbers, accomplish the seemingly impossible,” says Nagpal. “At some level, you no longer even see the individuals; you just see the collective as an entity to itself.”“Biological collectives involve enormous numbers of cooperating entities — whether you think of cells or insects or animals — that together accomplish a single task that is a magnitude beyond the scale of any individual,” said lead author Michael Rubenstein, a research associate at Harvard SEAS and the Wyss Institute.He cited, for example, the behavior of a colony of army ants. By linking together, they can form rafts and bridges to cross difficult terrain. Social amoebas do something similar at a microscopic scale: When food is scarce, they unite to create a fruiting body capable of escaping the local environment. In cuttlefish, color changes at the level of individual cells can help the entire organism blend into its surroundings. (As Nagpal points out with a smile, an entire school of fish in the movie “Finding Nemo” also collaborate when they form the shape of an arrow to point the title character toward the East Australian Current.)“We are especially inspired by systems where individuals can self-assemble together to solve problems,” said Nagpal. Her research group made news in February with a group of termite-inspired robots that can collaboratively perform construction tasks using simple forms of coordination.But the algorithm that instructs those TERMES robots has not yet been demonstrated in a very large swarm. In fact, only a few robot swarms to date have exceeded 100 individuals, because of the algorithmic limitations on coordinating such large numbers, and the cost and labor involved in fabricating the physical devices.The research team overcame both of these challenges through thoughtful design.Most notably, the Kilobots require no micromanagement or intervention once an initial set of instructions has been delivered. Four robots mark the origin of a coordinate system. All the other robots receive a 2-D image to mimic, and then, using very primitive behaviors — following the edge of a group, tracking a distance from the origin, and maintaining a sense of relative location — they take turns moving toward an appropriate position. With co-author Alejandro Cornejo, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard SEAS and the Wyss Institute, the researchers demonstrated a mathematical proof that the individual behaviors would lead to the right global result.Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK54Bu9HFRw” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/xK54Bu9HFRw/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University. Courtesy of SEASThe Kilobots also correct their own mistakes. If a traffic jam forms or a robot moves off-course — errors that become much more common in a large group — nearby robots sense the problem and cooperate to fix it.To keep the cost of the Kilobot down, each robot moves using two vibrating motors that allow it to slide across a surface on its rigid legs. An infrared transmitter and receiver allow it to communicate with a few of its neighbors and measure their proximity. But the robots are myopic and have no access to a bird’s-eye view. These design decisions come with tradeoffs, Rubenstein explained.“These robots are much simpler than many conventional robots, and as a result, their abilities are more variable and less reliable,” he said. “For example, the Kilobots have trouble moving in a straight line, and the accuracy of distance sensing can vary from robot to robot.”Yet, at scale, the smart algorithm overcomes these individual limitations and guarantees, both physically and mathematically, that the robots can complete a human-specified task, in this case assembling into a particular shape. That’s an important demonstration for the future of distributed robotics, says Nagpal.“Increasingly, we’re going to see large numbers of robots working together, whether it’s hundreds of robots cooperating to achieve environmental cleanup or a quick disaster response, or millions of self-driving cars on our highways,” she said. “Understanding how to design ‘good’ systems at that scale will be critical.”For now, the Kilobots provide an essential test bed for AI algorithms.“We can simulate the behavior of large swarms of robots, but a simulation can only go so far,” said Nagpal. “The real-world dynamics — the physical interactions and variability — make a difference, and having the Kilobots to test the algorithm on real robots has helped us better understand how to recognize and prevent the failures that occur at these large scales.”The Kilobot robot design and software, originally created in Nagpal’s group at Harvard, are available open-source for non-commercial use. The Kilobots have also been licensed by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development to K-Team, a manufacturer of small mobile robots.This research was supported in part by the Wyss Institute and by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Read more →

Getting comfortable outside their comfort zones

first_img Support for a diverse student body Related This is the first installment in Learning from Difference, a five-part series on diversity at Harvard.There is no education without diverse points of view, said Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana, sitting in his office the morning after Harvard’s 367th Commencement sent 7,000 graduates into a world of differences.A good education piles up the unknowns, Khurana said. It allows students to reconsider assumptions in multiple aspects of their lives — intellectual, social, personal — by presenting them with new facts and new experiences, and by surrounding them with diverse groups of classmates and viewpoints, both formally and informally.In the end, that exposure not only instills knowledge and a more accurate view of the world, it gives students a lens through which to re-examine themselves, their upbringings, and their beliefs. Issues of race, inclusion prompt fresh discussions; police probe Law School defacement; report outlines diversity concerns Faculty approves report on import of community interaction “The only way to advance a field, to advance research … is through a diversity of perspectives. … This is not a new, original insight, but one that we need to remind ourselves of over and over again,” said Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoThe report of the Khurana-chaired Committee to Study the Importance of Student Body Diversity, which was adopted by the faculty in 2016, noted the critical role diversity plays in a liberal arts education, one “in which challenge and confrontation are essential counterparts to collaboration and cooperation.”Recognition of the value of a diverse student body dates back to the College’s founding days, the report said, when Harvard’s charter, granted by Gov. Thomas Dudley in 1650, dedicated the institution to “the education of the English and Indian youth of this country.”The pursuit of student diversity continued over the centuries, albeit imperfectly and in the context of changing times. In the mid-1800s, as the nation veered toward civil war, then-Harvard President C.C. Felton argued for nationalizing what had been a regional college, because admitting students from “different and distant states must tend powerfully to remove prejudices by bringing them into friendly relations.”In the mid-1900s, with the admission of more public school students leading to a more socially and economically diverse student body, the House system was conceived as a way to keep students from self-sorting, by having them share living space. In 1997, after it became clear that individual Houses had become places more welcoming to students of specific backgrounds, assignments were randomized. “Diversity in the student body is important for the same reason that it’s important in research,” Khurana said. “The only way to advance a field, to advance research … is through a diversity of perspectives. It is a necessary condition for knowledge to advance. This is not a new, original insight, but one that we need to remind ourselves of over and over again.”Harvard College’s whole-person approach to creating a diverse student body is currently being challenged in federal district court, the latest in a series of lawsuits that have targeted universities’ right to consider race as one factor among many when choosing among academically qualified applicants. The last serious test came in June 2016, in Fisher v. University of Texas, when the Supreme Court upheld a university’s right to consider an applicant’s race in admissions.The most recent case has been brought against Harvard by a group created by conservative activist Edward Blum, who has sought through prior legal challenges to eliminate race-conscious admissions. The case argues that Asian-American students, who make up 22.7 percent of Harvard’s incoming freshman class and 6 percent of the U.S. population, are underrepresented on campus. Related A national wave hits Harvard The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. “A fair reading of Harvard’s history reveals a process across time in which the College has developed a recognition and appreciation of the excellence that comes only from including and embracing multiple sources of talent,” the committee wrote.The report highlights different ways student-body diversity — whether racial, ethnic, socio-economic, national, or experiential — is an important part of the Harvard experience. One place different perspectives find expression is the classroom, where students can spark discussion on topics a more homogenous class might not think controversial, or even noteworthy, the report said. The General Education Curriculum, meanwhile, is designed to introduce students to diverse disciplines and ideas.Outside the classroom, residential and extracurricular experiences — including athletic teams, public service organizations, and clubs — expose students to new ideas and experiences. Students regularly cite classmates as an important source of learning, whether through late-night conversations or meet-ups at the dining hall.“Each of us brings a unique perspective based on our personal and sociological biography,” Khurana said. “These perspectives can offer deep insights and allow us to test our understandings against an intellectual framework or established understandings. Our personal experiences can also limit what we see and understand, which is why comparative perspectives are so critical. These comparative perspectives — historical, cross-cultural, a different framing of a problem — create new understandings and new possibilities.”While racial and ethnic differences are key considerations in forming the student body, other factors are also important. Harvard’s 15-year-old financial aid program has helped fuel social and economic diversity. More than half of today’s students receive financial aid, and the average annual cost to parents of students receiving aid is $12,000. One in five undergraduates comes from a family that earns less than $65,000 per year, meaning they pay nothing toward the cost of education.International education is another key facet of student diversity, fostered both by admitting students from all over the world and more than 250 study-abroad programs.The incoming freshman class is one of the most diverse in Harvard’s history. To date, it is 15.5 percent African-American, 22.7 percent Asian-American, 12.2 percent Latino, 2 percent Native American, and 0.4 percent native Hawaiian. It is also majority female, at 50.1 percent. International students, who make up 12 percent of the class, hail from 90 countries.“I don’t think we can say with any level of confidence that we are forming tomorrow’s global leaders if these students are not being shaped in a context that reflects global reality,” said Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Jonathan L. Walton. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard file photoWhile Harvard has continued to work on diversity since the report came out, committee member Jonathan Walton said that it’s misguided to seek an end to the work — to see diversity as a goal to be achieved.“Diversity is a reality to be lived and experienced,” said Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. “We never say that we’re there. Diversity is like Veritas: it’s an ideal of which we are in constant pursuit.”Training students in a diverse environment is crucial to preparing them for the world that awaits them, Walton said. Future leaders in education, business, and government have to be able to understand and engage with people different from themselves.“I don’t think we can say with any level of confidence that we are forming tomorrow’s global leaders if these students are not being shaped in a context that reflects global reality,” Walton said.“One might say that we have to be mindful that we are not educating a generation of aristocratic elites that are given to neo-fascism because they’ve been able to use power and pedigree to mask their ignorance,” Walton said. “And we know ignorance leads to fear and intolerance, which always leads to hate and suffering. What’s our moral responsibility to society at large?”“What a disservice we do, frankly, to the world, if we fail in attracting excellence from all quarters, and even more if we fail to foster that excellence once we’ve identified it and have it on campus,” said Emma Dench. Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photoEmma Dench, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and another committee member, said that a commitment to campus diversity shows that Harvard takes seriously its mission to educate tomorrow’s global leaders.“What a disservice we do, frankly, to the world, if we fail in attracting excellence from all quarters, and even more if we fail to foster that excellence once we’ve identified it and have it on campus,” Dench said.One doesn’t have to look very far to see attacks on diversity-focused ideals, she added.“This is an area that is quite endangered,” Dench said.This spring, President Drew Faust accepted the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, empaneled in May 2016, and appointed former Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson as a senior adviser and strategist to the president to implement them.In her Commencement speech, Faust reflected on the importance of diversity and the idea that Harvard is likely the most diverse place most students have lived, or may ever live. The University, she said, seeks to attract talented individuals of the broadest range of backgrounds and interests, and then asks them to both learn from and teach one another.“This isn’t easy. It requires individuals to question long-held assumptions, to open their minds and their hearts to ideas and arguments that may seem not just unfamiliar, but even disturbing and disorienting,” she said. “It … becomes ever more difficult in an increasingly polarized social and political environment in which expressions of hatred, bigotry, and divisiveness seem not just permitted but encouraged. But in spite of these challenges all around us, we at Harvard strive to be enriched, not divided, by our differences.”last_img read more

Read more →

Diabetes prevention

first_imgBy Connie CrawleyUniversity of GeorgiaIf you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you and your child have a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It’s a sign that you might not use insulin as well as other women. Insulin helps your cells get energy from the blood sugar made when you digest food. If your insulin does not work well or you don’t have enough of it, your blood sugar will increase and you might get Type 2 diabetes. Children of women with gestational diabetes are more likely to have a problem with insulin, too. However, lifestyle changes can reduce the risk to you and your child. Research has shown that if a person can control his or her weight and be active, the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes is reduced by 60 percent. So what can you do?First, get checked for diabetes after your baby is born and again every one to two years. Finding Type 2 diabetes early and controlling it will help prevent or delay diabetic complications like vaginal or urinary tract infections, loss of sight, foot or leg infections that can lead to amputation, heart disease or kidney failure. Be sure to tell all your healthcare providers that you had gestational diabetes. They will keep an eye on your blood glucose values. Tell your child’s doctor, too, that you had gestational diabetes. Also, tell your child about his or her risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects almost 30 million Americans. It is a major problem in Georgia. To reduce risks for you and your child, do the following: •Breastfeed your baby. •Return to your pre-pregnancy weight. If you still weigh too much, work to lose 5 percent to 7 percent more. It’s best to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. You are more likely to gain weight back if you lose it too quickly.•Make healthy food choices. Eat at least two vegetables at lunch and supper. Have fruit for desserts and snacks. Eat smaller amounts of lean meat, poultry and fish. Eat whole wheat breads. Avoid white bread and refined grains. Eat low-fat or non-fat dairy foods. Use only one to two teaspoons of oil or soft margarine at each meal instead of butter, salad dressings, mayonnaise or stick margarines.•Eat smaller portions. A portion as wide and as thick as your palm is about a half of a cup or four ounces of vegetables, starches or protein foods. A tight fist is the right size for pieces of fruit and baked potatoes. •Drink water instead of sweetened drinks. •Be active for at least 30 minutes five or more days a week. •Ask your doctor or a dietitian for a proper eating plan for your child. Help your whole family make healthy choices. Advocate for healthy foods to be served at your child’s school. •Limit TV, video and computer game time to an hour or two a day.•Encourage your child to be active every day for at least an hour.(Connie Crawley is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutritionist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.)last_img read more

Read more →

EU Will Donate $1.6 Billion For Haitian Reconstruction

first_imgBy Dialogo March 31, 2010 The European Union (EU) announced a donation of 1.2 billion euros (1.6 billion dollars) at the international conference on Haitian reconstruction being held in New York, organized after January’s devastating earthquake. This amount, which will be delivered over the next three years, corresponds to the total contributions of the European Commission (the executive organ of the twenty-seven members), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the individual member states, a spokeswoman for the chief European diplomat, Catherine Ashton, explained. More than a hundred countries, along with international bodies, are meeting at the UN’s New York headquarters in a donor conference for Haiti, where the 12 January earthquake took at least 220,000 lives and left 1.3 million survivors in need of aid. The goal of the meeting is to collect around 3.8 billion dollars immediately, out of a total of 11.5 billions of dollars of aid that is estimated to be needed to rebuild the small country in ten years.last_img read more

Read more →